This fall, the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy will award two contracts – one for $25 billion to build combat ships, the other for $8 billion to build non-combat ships – to two different shipyards in Canada.
Halifax’s Irving Shipyards is in the running to become one of these suppliers.
This is a huge opportunity for Nova Scotia and the economic impact from winning the $25 billion contract would be vast. According to the Greater Halifax Partnership, this would create 11,500 jobs at peak performance, $351 million in disposable income in the region, and $350 million in local, provincial and federal tax revenue.
Winning the contract would create a generation of jobs in our province – and the spinoffs would be felt across the Atlantic region and the rest of Canada.
I will be hosting a discussion with representatives from the Greater Halifax Partnership on the “Ships Start Here” campaign. Please come out to learn more about Nova Scotia’s bid.
“Ships Start Here”
Thursday, September 8, 7-9 p.m.
École Beaubassin, Larry Uteck Boulevard
Community Connect on Lyme Disease
Later in September, I will team up with the Bedford Residents Association to host an information session on Lyme Disease.
The session will include a presentation, and Q&A session with Dr. Ernie Murakami, a Lyme Disease expert.
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans and pets through black-legged tick bites. Lyme-bearing black-legged ticks have been found in Bedford and a number of residents in the area have been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Information I’ve received from HRM indicates the ticks have moved through parts of Bedford to Hammonds Plains and Fall River.
To find out more about the symptoms, treatment and problems associated with Lyme Disease, please come out to the information session on September 19th.
Learn about Lyme Disease
Monday, September 19th
Basinview Drive Community School Cafeteria
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Bedford Student Receives Premier’s Power of Positive Change Award
I was thrilled to be present when Behraam Raja received the Premier’s Power of Positive Change Award on June 14th at Province House.
The Award (which includes an education bursary) is presented each year to up to ten students from grades Primary to 12 who demonstrate leadership by organizing a school or community activity or promoting positive attitudes and behaviour.
Behraam organized Madad Pakistan, a UNICEF fundraiser to help child victims of the flooding in Pakistan last year. (Madad means “help” in Urdu.) He convinced neighbours and fellow students at Basinview School to join his cause, hoping to raise $5,000. In the end, he raised over $10,000 – which the federal government then matched.
Behraam Raja is a perfect example of the power of positive change — well done Behraam!
Bedford – Birch Cove Volunteers Lauded
Our very special volunteers were honoured at two ceremonies in our riding recently. On April 3, 2011, twenty people (including three youth) were fêted for their service at the Bedford Volunteer of the Year Awards.
Bedford Volunteer of the Year Honourees were: Heather Travers (Bedford Beavers Swim Team), Joan Cleghorn (Bedford Horticultural Society), Calvin Bechard (Bedford Lawn Bowls), Fred Haley (Bedford Leisure Club), Jane Williams (Bedford Lionettes), Steve Majury (Bedford Minor Football), Sandy MacDonald (Bedford Players), Marilyn Sceles (Bedford United Church), Debbie Townsend (Canadian Cancer Society), Florence Zinck (Catholic Women’s League), Carmel Carrigan (Fort Sackville Foundation), Margaret Whitehouse (Girl Guides of Canada), Adam Perritt (Canadian Cancer Society), Art Mosher (Multiple Sclerosis Society), David Jackson (Sackville Rivers Association), Brent Newsome (Scouts Canada), Anna and Nelson Pellerin (St. Ignatius Church), Jacob Wilson (St. Ignatius Youth Group), Carmen Lee (Scouts Canada), Bob Short (Brookside Cemetary).
Carmen Lee was honoured as Bedford’s Youth Volunteer of the Year for her work in the community with 1st Bedford Scouts, where over the past 6 years she has been a Patrol Leader, Secretary, Event Coordinator, and Scouter-in-Training. Like a good Scout, Carmen is always prepared, and she models safe procedures at all Scouting events. Carmen has also volunteered at Bedford South School and at the Bedford Library. She is a wonderful role model for others – congratulations, Carmen!
And Bob Short was honoured as Bedford’s Volunteer of the Year. Bob has an impressive volunteer resume, including many years with the Brookside Cemetery Corporation, the Fort Sackville Foundation, and the Bedford Baptist Church. Bob has also served as a Bedford town councillor, on the Bedford Service Commission, the Bedford School Board and the Bedford Board of Trade. He is currently a director of the Bedford – Birch Cove PC Association. Congratulations, Bob!
On May 5, the Halifax Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee held its annual Community Champion Awards Dinner. Birch Cove residents Suzanne Morrison and Samantha Nielson were honoured for their work in the community.
Suzanne is the Parent School Association President at Ecole Rockingham School and is also the Choir Director of the Rockingham Parents Choir. She served on the Marketing committee for the 2006 Juno Awards and was the 2003 ECMA Protocol Chair. Suzanne also committed her time to the Kids Help Line as the 2004 Spooktacula Chair and was the 2003 Strategic Advisor for Sable Island Preservation Trust. Not surprisingly, when the Canada Games put out a call for volunteers, Suzanne stepped right up. Congratulations on your award, Suzanne!
Sam Nielson is only 15, but she has a long volunteer resume. At the age of 11, she raised money to adopt a family at Christmas, after she discovered there were families who don’t have enough money for presents. She raised so much money she was able to adopt three families – and has sponsored a family at Christmas ever since. Sam has also run a number of food drives for Feed Nova Scotia. She has been coaching girls soccer for six seasons, and helps out with other sports like lacrosse, baseball, soccer, paddling and the Special Olympics. Sam is also involved in the Phoenix Youth Centre – and has even got her soccer teams involved. Earlier this year, Sam received a 2011 Provincial Youth Volunteer award. Congratulations, Sam, on your awards and on making a difference in your community!
Thank you to the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee and the Bedford Volunteer of the Year Awards Committee for organizing these events. And thank you to all the members of our community who volunteer their time to make Bedford – Birch Cove a wonderful place to live.
Government Cuts Will Hurt Public Education
Late last June, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Education issued a news release. Minister Jennex claimed there would be “no layoffs of permanent teachers this year in Nova Scotia.”
What the minister didn’t say is that there will be 300 fewer teachers in public school classrooms come this fall. The minister has refused to call the reduction of teaching and teaching assistant positions “cuts” – but that’s exactly what they are.
And the minister’s op-ed avoided mentioning the inconvenient truth that there are teaching positions that no longer exist because of the cuts to public school funding.
Cuts to the number of teaching assistant positions across the province will have a major impact on the learning environment this fall. Children with learning and/or behavioural challenges will still have those challenges when they start school again this week; this year, however, they won’t have the support of their teaching assistants. Their classroom teachers will be torn between meeting their needs and meeting the needs of the rest of the class. (And remember, those teachers will also have to teach the province’s untested, unproven replacement for Reading Recovery, because that program and its positions were cut.) This cut will mean problems for all public school students – the ones who need teaching assistants, and the ones who don’t – because every classroom will suffer.
Nova Scotia has just cut $35 million from its public education budget, and we remain the province with the second-lowest per-student funding in the country. Our new “plan” to help students who need help with reading has not been subjected to any testing. Does this make sense? We know how important reading is to the future success of our students. Children who cannot read at grade level by grade three are far more likely to drop out of school than those students who can read at grade level. It makes sense to give children who are struggling with this important skill the best tools to help them get up to speed. Instead, the government has decided to experiment. They have no evidence their “plan” works, because none exists. They are simply using our children as guinea pigs.
For businesses looking for future employees, for families considering locating here, for parents and grandparents who have children in the system, the government’s refusal to make public education a priority rather than just another budget line is disheartening.
2011 Seniors’ Property Tax Rebate Application Forms Now Available
The Property Tax Rebate Program for Seniors provides a 50% rebate on residential municipal property tax, up to a maximum of $600, provided that you meet the following requirements:
– Received or were eligible to receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement in January 2011
– Still live in your home when you apply for the rebate
– 2010 Residential Property Taxes are in your name or include your name
– 2010 Residential Property Taxes are paid in full
– The original application is received post marked by December 31st, 2011
Applications are available at my office, or from Service Nova Scotia.
Congratulations to Will Apold of Bedford! Will won the Marblehead race in July and has trained many sailors at Bedford Basin Yacht Club.
Here to serve you
Do you have questions about the provincial government or are you having trouble accessing a provincial service? If so, please contact my office. My staff and I would be happy to assist you. Call 407-3777 or e-mail email@example.com.
Dial 811 for Health Information
HealthLink 811 connects Nova Scotians with health information and services – simply by dialling 8-1-1, you can have access to non-emergency health advice from a registered nurse. If you’re hearing impaired, you can call 711 (TTY) to access the service.
The HealthLink nurses can also provide information by fax, mail or email. They can refer callers to community-based or provincial health services and link you to 911 if that’s appropriate.
If you’re not sure whether to take your child to emergency about a health concern, for example, you can call 811. The nurse will advise you whether you need to take your child to your doctor, or to an emergency department.
If you or a family member do not speak English, HealthLink can provide service in French and many other languages – including (but not limited to) Arabic, Farsi, and Cantonese. These services are offered through a third party interpretation service.
Community Events and Registration Dates
First day of class for students and teachers. Thursday, September 1.
Basketball Registration for the Bedford Eagles. Register online before September 15. bedfordeagles.goaline.ca.
1st Bedford Scouts Registration. Tuesday, September 6, 6:30 (returning members), 7:30 (new members). Bedford United Church.
“Ships Start Here” Community Connect with Kelly Regan and Greater Halifax Partnership. Thursday, September 8, 7-9pm. Ecole Beaubassin.
Parkinson SuperWalk in support of the Parkinson Society. Sunday, September 11, DeWolf Park. 1-800-663-2468; parkinsonsuperwalk.ca.
Learn about Lyme Disease with Dr. Murakami, BRA and Kelly Regan. September 19, 7-9pm. Basinview Community School.
Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Bike Tour. Saturday, September 24. Porters Lake Provincial Park. Stefanie@craigscause.ca.
Watch for my Community Connect on budgeting and personal finance for teens and parents in November.
Do you have an event that you’d like me to help promote? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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